Letters to the editor, May 12, 2010
Barbara Zimonja did not commit an actual crime, however she is guilty of: 1) incredibly poor business judgment, 2) unethical business practices, and 3) lack of candor with the homeowners, vendors and her employees.
As an owner at The Lodges and a managing director at a major turnaround and restructuring firm, I watched her make every mistake an over-extended business owner does in these circumstances. She did not accurately anticipate the trouble in her business, even though it was clear the economy was going to slow at early as the 2007 ski season. She did not act quickly or significantly enough when the downturn occurred. She expanded into business ventures she had no true expertise in (development rather property management) and when those were not successful she did not act to shut them down and save her core business.
Most importantly, she made promises to homeowners for actions she then failed to take.
Taking the position that she was "entitled under her contractual agreements" to utilize funds collected for rentals in any way she saw fit fails to address the implicit trust in a business relationship between the property owners and their management company. She deserves every bit of anger directed at her by those who were hurt by her actions, despite her history of good works in the community.
The original Park Record article did nothing but fan the flames of this anger, by allowing Ms. Zimonja to try to somehow recolor history. Ms. Thompson is frankly guilty of nothing worse than wishful thinking. The Premier Resorts story stands as a cautionary tale for all owners of resort property to carefully review the financial condition (including capitalization and business structure) of any prospective property manager.
The Deer Valley owners are extremely grateful that DVR stepped into this business and took care of the employees as well as providing a stable new platform for the homeowners. This whole story could have turned out much worse were it not for DVR’s willingness to enter the property management business, against their longtime policy not to do so.
As for Ms. Zimonja, it would appear she has learned very little from this experience –which is truly a shame.
New York City, New York
Goodbye to a school tradition
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents that came to the PTO meeting to show your support for the 7th grade trip to Lagoon. Unfortunately, the outcome was not in our favor. This longstanding "right of passage" no longer fits into the 7th grade Ecker Hill curriculum. I must say though, that as a PTO member, I was very impressed with the level of dedication of the parents that attended. Thank you all for taking the time out of your day to express your opinions and act as a true advocate for your 7th grader’s best interests. This trip has always been a great confidence builder to help the kids transition to Treasure Mountain. It is a tradition that will be sorely missed.
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